Album review: New Baboons - New Baboons
With twangy guitars, plenty of organ, and vocals dripping with reverb, it's obvious that New Baboons are purposefully channeling the sounds of the ‘60s on their self-titled debut album. Influenced by The Beach Boys and Velvet Underground, their airy, melodic songs combine the California sound with catchy neo-psych, garage rock, and power pop, resulting in something not often heard in the local scene.
New Baboons consist of Elliott Seymour (guitar and vocals), Adam Scheffler (guitar and vocals), Tom Livesay (bass and vocals), Paige Newcomer (keyboards), and Josh Klipsch (drums). Seymour, Scheffler, and Livesay did the songwriting, and the album was recorded on an eight-track in Seymour’s basement. Despite the vintage tone and sound, it is far from one-dimensional.
Several of the 11 tunes unapologetically borrow from the past. “History Books,” “Dress,” “Man, They Just Don’t,” and “Velcro Underground” (a tip of the cap to Velvet Underground) all pass for songs that could have been drifting from the windows of a VW bus in 1968. This isn’t a bad thing, as they are solid tracks that will keep the listener tuned in.
“Oh God, You Phantom” and “The Victor” are darker and a bit strange, but remain very listenable, which may equal a more interesting musical experience. Two highlights are “Worm in the Apple,” a pulsating, bass-heavy song that is reminiscent of The Shins’ early work, and “If You Find Some,” a piano-driven, soulful gem with powerful vocals and an extended jam that could go on even longer.
Overall, New Baboons is a good, layered offering that should grow on listeners the more it is heard. Some may suggest that the sound is somewhat formulaic, but it is a formula that continues to work and is given a unique and refreshing spin by the band.
Brad loves music, Boulevard beer, and his family. Not necessarily in that order.
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